Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao gave a stern warning to ministers, legislators, party leaders and officials to ensure that saplings planted as part of the Haritha Haram programme survive, it has led to a panic reaction that at times is quite funny.
Ministers, legislators and party leaders, often in groups, are seen on social media, posing with a single sapling.
From Cabinet ministers including Mr Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Mr Etala Rajender, Mr Kadiam Srihari, Mr K.T. Rama Rao, Mr T. Padma Rao, Mr T. Srinivas Yadav, to MLAs, MPs, MLCs, party leaders wearing green khandwas, and senior and junior officials, everyone makes it a point to have a picture taken with saplings.
Added a TRS leader in a lighter vein, “You’ve heard of the film Ek Phool Do Maali. It’s now Ek plant, 10 maali.”
“We have to follow the CM’s orders. Now he says that tickets to contest the next elections will depend on performance in Haritha Haram,” said a TRS MLA.
Even senior IAS and IPS officers are clamoring for photo ops with saplings.
Mr Tummala Nages-wara Rao, Mr Jupally Krishna Rao, Mr Etala Rajender, Mr P. Mahender Reddy, Mr T. Padma Rao, Mr T. Srinivas Yadav and others are crisscrossing the state attending plantation drives.
People in villages and towns across the state invite ministers, local MLAs and senior officials to their colonies, localities or offices to participate in the Haritha Haram programme and the invitation is accepted.
Though reports are coming in from some places of saplings withering away, the CM has reportedly instructed ministers to replace them.
The drive aims at planting 230 crore seedlings in the state over the next three years to increase the forest cover from the present 24 per cent to 33 per cent.